Reaching the Next Generation: Breaking Down the Numbers

At Reach America, we are reaching and equipping the next generation of great American Christian leaders. We believe God can bring America back through us. If this goal is to be realized, we must raise up our Christian youth to be generational leaders. When we say Christian teens must be prepared to lead their generation, who represents their generation? How many leaders do we need? How do we get to that number?

Let’s break down the numbers.


According to the US Census Bureau, this is the number of American children and teens, ages 10-19. This number represents the generation of Americans these young leaders are called to lead. As you can see, the task is enormous, but not impossible.

We have chosen the group ages 10-19 because they are still developing their worldview. Young people are exposed to tremendous amounts of information. By the time teens reach high school, many have their worldview in intact.

Without a doubt, 42.7 million is a huge number, but it is not necessary to reach all 42.7 million to impact this generation. When we break down these numbers further we get a clear picture of the strategies necessary to make our young Christian leaders successful.

45, 50 plus 1

According to, 45% of Americans, ages 18-29, voted in the last presidential election. (FYI: 60% of those 18-29 years old voted for Barack Obama. 37% voted for Mitt Romney.) In only eight short years, the entire generation, ages 10-19, will be eligible to vote. Amazing, isn’t it. They grow up so fast!

Let’s play with the numbers. Using the voting stats for the youngest voting group (18-29) as a guide, 45% of this generation of 42,717,537 is 19,222,891. In an election, 50% plus one vote is needed to win, or 9,611,446 votes. Let me emphasis that this analysis is NOT about politics! I am breaking down election stats to show how many of those in this generation we need to impact to influence the nation.

Voting trends tell us a lot about how we impact generational/cultural change. Those who will turn out to vote are those who are making the most effort to make their voices heard. Also, those who vote make up the segment of the population who are involved in the community. If you impact that group, you have the best chance of impacting the generation.

So far, we have reduced the number of people we need to influence the next generation from 42.7 million to 9.6 million. In essence, we have cut our number down by 50%, twice. Let’s continue.


At Reach America, we teach that leadership is influence. According to John C. Maxwell, a leading expert in leadership research and training, “Even the shiest introvert will influence 10,000 people over the course of his or her lifetime.” My question for these young leaders is, how many can they influence if they were intentional about it?


9.6 million divided by 10,000 is 960. Let’s assume some leaders are going to be less effective than needed and round the number up to 1,000. We need 1,000 well trained and strategically placed young leaders to influence the 42.7 million people in their generation, ages 10-19.

Will you join me in prayer for these young people? Will you pray daily for the entire generation and for those whom God is calling to lead them? Pray Matthew 9:38 with me. “Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

Will you also pray for me us, at Reach America? At the time of this writing, we are in the final stages of publishing our first 10-week course designed to train these young leaders. It is the first of eight courses designed for high school leaders.

Also, we request your prayers as we prepare for our conference in Branson, Missouri, September 13-15. The organizers are expecting 100,000 people to attend the three-day event.

God bless you all!

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